Social media sites may have started as a way for college students to keep tabs on each other, but in the last eight years, social media has become an integral part of how we communicate with each other – all of us – from entry level candidates to seasoned professionals. Regardless of where you are at in your career, it is important to stay on top of how your online persona is reflecting your life and lifestyle to potential colleagues and employers.
Social Media as a Screening Tool
You may not even realize it, but companies are scoping out candidates on social media sites. 37 percent of companies polled by CareerBuilder use social media to search for additional information about job candidates, and 11 percent state that while this is not a current practice, it will be implemented in the near future. Only 15 percent of companies polled stated their company policy forbade this method of investigation. If you are seeking a job (and even if you aren’t!), it would greatly behoove you to do everything in your power to present yourself in a positive, professional manner on social media sites.
A candidate’s social media presence can offer an insight into personality and work ethic. For example, if a person complains about work or colleagues on social media outlets, this could indicate potential problems with teamwork and morale. Or, if someone is consistently posting non-work related information on social media sites during the work day, that person’s commitment, focus and work ethic comes across as seriously lacking. The pieces of information you choose to share are being used to paint a portrait of who you are. If anything you’re posting has the potential to sully that portrait, get that in check as soon as possible.
Take Advantage of Privacy Settings
If you still desire to post details of your life you would not feel comfortable with strangers and your potential employers seeing, use privacy settings and filters to ensure that only close friends or family can access the most personal things on your social media profiles. Remember: public is public. It is the worldwide web–not the web that extends to people who know you well and like you no matter what. So familiarize yourself with the ever-changing privacy policies of various social media networks and customize your settings accordingly, even when you are not looking for a job.
LinkedIn – The Best Professional Social Network
LinkedIn is vital in the business world, even if you are not actively searching for a job. Create a profile, make connections and update it regularly. LinkedIn is one of the strongest websites for job seekers, and you never know when your situation might change or when an offer that is perfect for you can arise. Having an up-to-date LinkedIn profile is the online version of keeping meticulous updates on your resume. However, unlike simply updating your resume, LinkedIn offers a way to create communication with peers and employers.
Social media is important when it comes to how you present yourself to the world. Employers are looking at your online persona when making decisions about hiring you. How does your online presence represent your goals and capabilities? Contact us today to begin searching for companies that will help establish your career path!